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Scaling Up a Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence Pilot Program at the University of Michigan Medical School

Hughey, Katherine L. MD; Bell, Jason D. MD, MPH, MS; Mullan, Patricia B. PhD; Rana, Gurpreet K. MLIS; Wagenschutz, Heather M. MA, MBA; Skye, Eric P. MD; Kolars, Joseph C. MD; Mangrulkar, Rajesh S. MD; Williams, Brent C. MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002783
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Problem Transforming medical school curricula to train physicians to better address society’s needs is a complex task, as students must develop expertise in areas other than clinical medicine.

Approach In 2010, the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) launched the Global Health and Disparities (GHD) Path of Excellence as part of a larger curriculum transformation. The GHD Path is a co-curriculum with the goal of ameliorating health disparities in the United States and abroad. It was developed iteratively based on student and faculty feedback. Student feedback emphasized the value of the relationships with faculty and other students, the capstone project, and exposure to role models and professional networks. Faculty described the joy of interacting with students and the desire for recognition by their departments for their role as an advisor.

Outcomes Informed by the GHD Path experience, UMMS embraced the Path model, which emphasized professional relationships, career development, and high-impact scholarly work, making it different from the traditional medical curriculum, and the school implemented 7 other Paths between 2013 and 2018. Elements common to all Paths include a capstone project, a longitudinal advisor separate from the capstone advisor, exposure to role models and leaders, and the dissemination of scholarly work to promote networking.

Next Steps Next steps for the Paths of Excellence include developing methods to systematically monitor students’ progress, facilitating mentoring skills in and recognizing faculty advisors, and measuring the long-term impact of the Paths on students and society.

K.L. Hughey is assistant director, Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence, and assistant professor of family medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

J.D. Bell is associate director, Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence, and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

P.B. Mullan is professor of learning health sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

G.K. Rana is global health coordinator, Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

H.M. Wagenschutz is director of curriculum services, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was codirector, Paths of Excellence, from 2014 to 2017.

E.P. Skye is clinical associate professor of family medicine and learning health sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was codirector, Paths of Excellence, from 2014 to 2017.

J.C. Kolars is senior associate dean for education and global initiatives, Josiah Macy, Jr., Professor of Health Professions Education, and professor of internal medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

R.S. Mangrulkar is Marguerite S. Roll Professor of Medical Education, associate dean for medical student education, and associate professor of internal medicine and learning health sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

B.C. Williams is director, Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence, and professor of internal medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A683.

Funding/Support: This project received financial support from the American Medical Association (AMA). The content reflects the views of the authors and does not purport to reflect the views of the AMA or any member of the Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Previous presentations: Abstracts describing specific portions of the Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence have been presented at the Association of American Medical Colleges annual meeting (2012, 2013, 2016), the Consortium of Universities for Global Health annual conference (2013, 2016, 2017), and the Society of General Internal Medicine annual meeting (annually 2012–2018).

Correspondence should be addressed to Brent C. Williams, University of Michigan, North Campus Research Complex, 2800 Plymouth Rd., Building 16 Room 447E, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; telephone: (734) 615-3636; email: bwilliam@umich.edu.

Copyright © 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges